Cigar review of Gurkha – Archive 1887

Gurkha – Archive 1887

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It's the holiday season. Enjoy!

Happy holidays to all the Bullz-Eye faithful! We are thankful you choose to spend some time with us throughout the year. In this holiday season as the current year is waning and the new one looms on the near horizon, it’s a good time to reflect on the past and the future. If you are like most, you will likely agree that it has been a crazy year. The economy alone has ensured a memorable 2009 for most. In a year like this, I’m finding that I am enjoying the holiday spirit more than I have in quite a while. As I look for the answer to “Why” this may be the case, I turn to a great cigar to allow me the time to consider it properly, the Gurkha Archive 1887 (more on the cigar later). I’m not sure that I have come to any solid conclusions, but I do have an educated guess to share.

The end of 2009 certainly represents the end of a year, but also the end of a decade. It seems like only yesterday that many feared the potential catastrophic failures of computer systems around the world as the clock struck midnight to ring in 2000. This fear helped fuel an already healthy economy as many companies spent millions to upgrade technologies and systems. Like 10 years ago, we again have fears entering a new decade. The silver lining is hard to find this time around, but I know we’ll come out of this and our fears will pass to something new in the future.

As I get older, I am more aware of time passing, and like your parents and older acquaintances warned, it definitely seems to go by faster than it did in the past. I also recognize the patterns and cycle of life’s ups and downs. However, experience teaches us (those of us paying attention, anyway). Though most are cliché, I remind you of just a few:

  • Don’t focus on the negative.
  • Don’t panic in the face of adversity.
  • Get proactive about the things you can change, forget about the things you cannot.
  • Celebrate your “wins”; Take some time to heal and then move on when you “lose.”
  • (And who can forget) Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

All of these share a common theme: No matter how long you live, life is still short, so you have to make the most of it while you can. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Unfortunately, there is no reboot key or “Start Over” option -- you get one shot. In the end, we only get to experience a single digit number of decades throughout our life, a finite number of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and days where you are with the ones you love. Some of us get more days on earth than others. It’s not fair, but it is fact. My personal count is only getting higher, so I plan to consciously enjoy and appreciate them while they are still coming. I guess this is why I am enjoying the holidays more. This and online Christmas shopping!

I leave you with a toast, a favorite of an old friend that captures this spirit. I am not sure of exact verses, nor am I able to credit a single source. However, it goes something like this:

Fill what is empty,
Empty what is full;
Scratch where it itches,
And NEVER let the troubles of life interfere with the pleasures of living!

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do know that it is coming fast. Bring it on and let’s do our best to enjoy that roller coaster ride that it will be! Best wishes to you in this holiday season and beyond!

So, let’s get smokin’!

Cigar Review:

Gurkha – Archive 1887

Wrapper: Connecticut Maduro
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 7” x 52
Price: $10

For those of you who follow my musings, you may have guessed correctly that I enjoy a variety of cigars, but that I also have some favorite blenders/brands. One of those is Gurkha. They take a unique approach to cigars. They seem to market as many blends as any maker, the flavor/strength profiles are more diverse than most, and they don’t mass produce these blends. For this reason, I have made them one of my favorites. In effect, it makes Gurkha one of the most sought after premium boutique cigars on the market. 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Gurkha brand and they’re celebrating this occasion with the Archive 1887 cigars, a cigar they’ve been developing for two years.


The cigar was smoked at the halfway point between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2009, in my garage on a chilly December day in Charlotte, NC. It was only the second Gurkha Archive 1887 that I have ever smoked, as they have just recently been released. On this particular day, I had finished putting up all the outdoor decorations the week before, but needed to straighten out the garage, and do so in a relaxing sort of way so I could focus on the art of a finely crafted and aged cigar.

Look and feel

The Archive is a long, well packed cigar which has a somewhat rare rectangular form. It is the result of “box pressing,” which commonly is done in a form to create four equally-sized, straight sides -- a squared verses round shaped cigar. However, the Archive’s Churchill size is box pressing into more of a rectangular. With a box pressed cigar, you can set the cigar down on a flat surface without concern of it rolling off – a sometimes handy feature. Many Gurkha cigars are manufactured by the Torano family in the Dominican. They are one of the best manufacturers in the business and I suspect the Archive was constructed by them, given its quality construction. The wrapper appeared to be nicely fermented – beautifully dark and rich looking.

Aroma and Taste

The pre-lit aroma was reminiscent of the fine Cuban cigar. A nice strong earthy aroma was clearly evident, especially at the open end. I used a double guillotine cutter to ensure a clean cut. The pre-lit draw set the expectation of a very flavorful cigar, which is exactly what fit my mood. It was easy to light with a smooth draw. The opening puffs were very peppery in nature with a rich aroma quickly filling the room. Interestingly, the pepper dissipated after five or six long draws. It gave way to an underlying dark chocolate, cocoa flavor, but not real sweet. Various flavors were highlighted at different times during the smoke, including toast and espresso. In fact, I was motivated to step inside and heat some of the morning coffee halfway through the cigar as I knew it would be a great pairing, and it was. This was a full flavored treat that burned nice and slow.

RATING: 9.2 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – This is a nice, complex cigar that I would like to experiment with some more, maybe pair it with a quality bourbon or cognac, perhaps after a great steak dinner. I hope to be able to get some more of these before they sell out. If you prefer a mild cigar, light on the nicotine – you may not fully appreciate this cigar. Otherwise, it’s a great cigar for the price!

Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email:

Cigar Quote

"No cigar-smoker ever committed suicide." – William Maginn, Irish writer